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Revenue Growth: Beyond Sales & Promotions

 A quick internet search on the term “list of ways to grow sales” brings up list after list of “proven ways” to grow sales. Most suggestions are sales and instant demand generation activities.

Why is there so much focus on sales and instant demand generation? Three fundamental reasons:

  1. These are quick fixes that often create the illusion of an increase in sales, followed quickly by an offsetting dip in sales the following month or quarter. The pressure to “make the month” or “make the quarter” overrides the damaging creation of a cyclical pattern that becomes obvious to the marketplace and reinforces these solutions, which usually involve discounting, “stuffing” the distribution channel, or providing incentives to purchase.
  2. This is the “fun” stuff and people are enamored with the creative solutions of advertising, promotions, slogans, flashy websites, and spending money to make money. It feels good to buy an advertisement, to generate a lot of activity, and to have something to see in print or on the web, even if you can’t measure the results and there’s no lasting impact on demand.
  3. Sales and demand generation are easy to explain in a 500-word article.

I love sales incentives that drive the behavior of the sales and distribution channel. Demand generation activities are absolutely necessary as part of the market mix. But, when it comes to real growth, the solution usually requires strategic shifts in the organization and the products and services it produces.

The Key to Real Growth: Strategic Changes

When a company is interested in creating significant fundamental growth, one or more strategic shifts must be made to the marketing mix. The goals are to create product demand, market share growth, and to hold a leadership position in the market. Here is a partial list of strategies that can be employed to create fundamental market shifts:



  • Eliminate products with low market share
  • Price model change
  • Public relations campaign
  • Product line extensions
  • Distribution model changes

Market consolidation

  • Competitor buy-out or shut-down


  • Provide/improve financing to consumers and/or distribution channels
  • Shift production to a low cost-to-market facility
  • Increase inventory

Geographic expansion

  • Domestic and/or international

International Sales

  • Product localization
  • International distribution channel
  • International-only products


Which Strategies Are Best?

“Best” strategies are specific to each situation- the company, the products, the market, the local and global economies, the position in the marketplace, financial constraints, etc. Each situation is unique and requires analysis of the big picture and all aspects of the business: sales, marketing, manufacturing and/or product development, finance, and operations.

Inter-disciplinary teams, including sales, marketing, and finance, make the best decisions for growth strategies. Representatives from manufacturing, operations, and/or product development are needed to analyze the current situation, develop alternate scenarios, and create an implementation plan.


Go For the Big Gains

If a company really wants to make significant gains in revenue the obvious conclusion is to look at strategies that will provide growth, not just tactics that will make a temporary uptick in sales this month. Multiple strategies will often be employed simultaneously and will be launch with complementary sales programs and demand generation marketing.


Did you learn something new, or did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!


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